Namco Bandai Games has just announced a partnership agreement with Chinese developer Tencent Games in order to co-develop a new online game based on Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto franchise. There are no details or teasers released for the game yet, but it is planned to launch this year via Tencent’s game.qq.com so it’s either they’re already far along into the development, or it’s going to be one of those easy to produce 2D browser games like Pockie Ninja. Considering Tencent’s other offerings, we’re guessing that it’s the latter.
On the other hand, Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm developer Cyberconnect2 is also said to be involved in the game. CyberConnect2’s usual oeuvre is far more complex than browser based games, so if it pushes through, we’re hoping it’s either a local client-based MMO with a nice combat system or at least a browser that uses the Unity 3D engine (see Marvel’s Superherosquad Online, for an idea on what the engine is capable of.)
Currently, the game is only planned to launch in China. But the Naruto franchise is popular (and profitable!) worldwide, so if it all goes well, it’s not entirely impossible for other countries to license the game as well.